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University of Texas at Austin

Peter Buckley:

An Inventory of His Papers and Photography Collection at the Harry Ransom Center

Creator: Buckley, Peter, 1925-1997
Title: Peter Buckley Papers and Photography Collection
Dates: 1943-2007, undated (bulk 1950s-1970s)
Extent: 32 document boxes, 10 oversize boxes (14.8 linear feet); 1 flat file drawer
Abstract: The collection consists of photographic prints (approximately 1,100), contact sheets (approximately 1,900), negatives (approximately 2,500), slides (approximately 1,700), scrapbooks, correspondence, clippings, annotated books, handwritten and typed manuscripts, and book dummies, all documenting the life and career of American photographer Peter Buckley.
Call Number: Photography Collection PH-2470
Language: English, French, Italian, and Spanish
Access: Open for research. Please note: Transparencies may be accessed but require 24 hours advance notice. Negatives cannot be accessed without curatorial approval. Two albums have been restricted due to their fragile condition, but digital copies of these albums are available in the Ransom Center Reading and Viewing Room for patron access. To make an appointment or to reserve photography materials, please contact the Center's staff at

Administrative Information

Acquisition: Gift, 2011, 2015 (11-06-013-G)
Processed by: Daniela Lozano, 2013 and Anne Kofmehl, 2015

Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Sketch

Peter Hays Buckley was born September 13, 1925, in New York City. His father, David Augustine Buckley, and his mother, Elinor Hays Buckley, separated when he was just six months old. Buckley spent his childhood years living abroad with his mother and going to school in several European cities including Paris, London, Rome, Geneva, and Vienna. In 1938, they returned to New York City where Buckley attended Riverdale Country Day School from which he graduated in 1943.
Buckley attended Princeton University during the summer before he turned eighteen and was drafted into the U.S. Army. From November 1943 to July 1946, he served as part of the Counter Intelligence Forces stationed in Europe during World War II. After being honorably discharged, Buckley returned to Princeton. He graduated magna cum laude in 1949 with a major in French and Spanish literature. He then went on to the University of Paris to pursue doctoral work in philosophy and psychology but abandoned that program in 1951.
Following his departure from the University of Paris, Buckley went to Spain and became interested in making movies about bullfights. He befriended many of the matadors and also reconnected and became close with Ernest Hemingway, who was also active in the bullfight scene. Buckley’s mother had met Hemingway and his first wife, Hadley, during their time in Paris in the 1920s, and their son, Jack, was a childhood friend of Buckley’s.
In addition to his interest in bullfights, Buckley aspired to work on projects that would bring people from different countries together in the hope of preventing another war like the one he had just lived through. He made a short silent movie, Under One Sun, which focused on two children living in different areas of Italy, but he was unsuccessful with its distribution. Encouraged by a friend in the book business, Buckley then envisioned a series of photographically illustrated children’s books that would tell the stories of children and their families from different parts of the world, for which he abandoned his movie camera and took up still photography. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Buckley traveled extensively throughout Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Holland, Greece, Nigeria, and Puerto Rico, all the while shooting photographs for these books. What began as the Around the World book series at Franklin Watts continued on with other publishers.
The transition from movies to still photographs also carried over into his bullfight projects. He spent several bullfight seasons in the late 1950s traveling from city to city with the matadors and shooting photographs during the matches and behind the scenes. In 1958, he wrote and published what became his most successful book, Bullfight, illustrated with photographs taken during this period.
By the 1960s, Buckley had established himself as a master photographer of children with his Around the World series. He was hired by the publisher Holt, Rinehart and Winston, the largest publisher of K-12 foreign language materials at the time, to shoot photographs for their French and Spanish textbook and filmstrip series. Buckley traveled to Spain, France, Mexico, and Central and South America shooting photographs for these books. From 1965 to 1968, he wrote about and photographed families for the Holt Urban Social Studies series, a series of books and filmstrips that focused on children living and going to school in New York City. It was intended to create a more fully integrated textbook series for children, a concept considered quite radical at that time.
Buckley’s next major project was Ernest (1978), a photo biography of his friend Ernest Hemingway. He was given unprecedented access to family photographs by Hemingway’s widow, Mary, which he combined with his own photographs and text. Ernest turned out to be Buckley’s last book. Several planned projects, such as additional Around the World books from Romania and Morocco, a book of color photographs of fall leaves, and a book of photographs of bald eagles shot in British Columbia in the late 1980s, were never completed.
Buckley was married to Conrad Little from 1959 to 1970, and they had three children: David, Annabel, and Michael. In 1973, he married Susan Grace Washburn whom he met at Holt, Rinehart and Winston where she worked as an editor. Buckley died in New York City on January 8, 1997.


Information in the biographical sketch is derived from materials in the Peter Buckley Papers and Photography Collection and from correspondence in 2013 with Buckley's widow, Susan.

Scope and Contents

Scope and Contents

Photographic prints, negatives, transparencies, scrapbooks, correspondence, clippings, annotated books, manuscripts, and book dummies document the life and career of Peter Buckley. The collection is organized into the following two series: I. Projects, 1943-1998, undated; and II. Career-Related and Personal, 1945-2007, undated.
Series I. Projects, comprises the bulk of the collection. It consists of photographic material for Buckley’s book projects, and includes negatives, contact sheets, prints, slides, and a small amount of transparencies, as well as correspondence, clippings, annotated books, manuscripts, and book dummies. Copies of his books Bullfight (1958) and Ernest (1978) are also included. Oversize mounted and matted prints from Peru, Greece, Holland, Switzerland, France, and Guatemala are present as well as oversize mounted prints of eagles and one inscribed print of a bullfighter. Smaller prints from other projects are also present.
Series II. Career-Related and Personal, contains scrapbooks, photographic prints, negatives, and contact sheets, clippings and tear sheets, gifts, and posters. Buckley’s plan for a photography exhibition from the 1990s and a detailed resume he put together in the 1970s also form part of this series.

Series Outline

  • Series I. Projects, 1943-1998, undated
  • Subseries A. Countries, 1952-1987, undated
  • Subseries B. Ernest Hemingway, 1943-1998
  • Subseries C. Holt Urban Social Studies Series, 1965-1968
  • Subseries D. Subjects, 1950s-1988, undated
  • Series II. Career-Related and Personal, 1945-2007, undated

Arrangement by Format

  • Contact sheets, prints, and manuscript materials, Boxes 1-23
  • Oversize Materials, Boxes 24-32, 44 and Flat File (FF) 33.15
  • Negatives (restricted), Transparencies, and Slides, Boxes 33-43
  • Copper printing plates, Box 44

Series Descriptions

Series I. Projects, 1943-1998, undated (32.5 boxes, 4 oversize boxes, 1 flat file drawer)
This series documents Buckley’s career as a photographer. The series is divided into four subseries: A. Countries, 1952-1987, undated; B. Ernest Hemingway, 1943-1998; C. Holt Urban Social Studies Series, 1965-1968; and D. Subjects, 1950s-1988, undated.
Subseries A. Countries, 1952-1987, undated
This subseries makes up the bulk of the collection and contains mostly photographic material–negatives, contact sheets, prints, and slides–from Buckley’s travels throughout the 1950s and 1970s. Noteworthy are Buckley’s contact sheets which are often marked with instructions for printing and cropping. The material is organized by location in keeping with Buckley’s original organizational system. The countries represented include Belgium, Canada, England, France, Greece, Holland, Italy, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, Puerto Rico, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, the United States, and several in Central and South America. In most cases, the negatives correspond to one or more book projects, with the exception of Belgium, Canada, England, Morocco, and Turkey, and the United States which were either unrelated to any specific project or intended for an unrealized book project.
Titles listed in the Container List were transferred from Buckley’s original envelopes. Buckley employed his own numbering system to organize his negatives by project. The numbers are listed with the negatives in the Container List. Physically, the negatives are arranged in numerical order, except where different formats were intermixed, in which case they were separated and then arranged numerically. Contact sheets for negatives that did not already have a corresponding contact sheet were printed by Ransom Center staff and are appropriately marked and interfiled with Buckley’s originals. All contact sheets are labeled with their negative number and are arranged in numerical order except for those marked "specially selected" or "super special" which were filed separately in keeping with Buckley’s original organization. "Specially selected" contact sheets for specific countries are filed under that location. A set of intermixed contact sheets from different countries designated "super special," which includes contact sheets of the French mime, Étienne Decroux, can be found at the end of Subseries A. Two sets of "valuable prints" are also present: the first set includes prints from various countries as well as prints of a nude model and is located at the end of Subseries A; the second set consists solely of photographs from Bullfight and is filed with material from that book. A small set of "specially selected" negatives and contact sheets of general subjects can be found in Subseries D, along with the negatives for Étienne Decroux and the nude model. The "specially selected,""super special," and "valuable prints" were being considered by Buckley for a possible exhibition, the plan for which is located in Series II.
Many of the photographs were shot for Buckley’s Around the World series and other children’s books, including Cesare of Italy (1954), Luis of Spain (1955), Michel of Switzerland (1955), Jan of Holland (1956), Okolo of Nigeria (1962), Dimitrios, Boy of Greece (1962) (also published as Greek Island Boy in 1965), and I Am from Puerto Rico (1971). The materials from France, Mexico, and Central and South America, and some from Spain, were for the Holt, Rinehart and Winston foreign language textbooks and filmstrips, Español: Hablar y Leer (1962) and Le Français: Parler et Lire (1963). Spain has several projects associated with it, in addition to the aforementioned books, including The Spanish Plateau (1959) and, most notably, Bullfight (1958).
The only non-photographic material in this subseries relates to Bullfight and includes Buckley’s contract and correspondence with Simon and Schuster, Inc., two copies of the published book, reviews, and Buckley’s proposal for a film on bullfighting. One copy of Bullfight is flagged with contact sheet numbers for most of the photographs. The other is leather bound and slip cased, signed by Buckley, Richard Simon, President of Simon and Schuster, and many of the matadors and others featured in the photographs.
Related material for all of these projects, primarily clippings and correspondence, is available in several of the scrapbooks located in Series II.
Subseries B. Ernest Hemingway, 1943-1998
This subseries consists of source materials and production materials for Ernest (1978), as well as other material related to Hemingway. Included are several annotated books by or about Hemingway, as well as clippings about him and about his widow, Mary.
The source materials consist of negatives and copy negatives of photographs of Hemingway which Buckley considered using for his book. Original photographs given to Buckley by Mary Hemingway are also present. The production material consists of prints made from the copy negatives, many annotated or with crop marks; typed and handwritten notes and a preliminary draft of the text for the book; and a partial dummy comprised of some photographs included in the book. For conservation purposes, the photographs from the dummy were removed from the original magnetic photo album pages and individually sleeved.
A copy of the published book is included, as are reviews, and marketing and publicity material. Photographs related to publicity for the book, removed from an album, are also present in this subseries and include images of a store window display and a book signing, and a television appearance by Buckley with one of Hemingway’s granddaughters. The correspondence included in the subseries, most of which is photocopied, documents Buckley’s interactions with book publishers and with staff from the John F. Kennedy Library which holds Hemingway’s archive, as well as his relationship with the Hemingway family, and his own promotion of his book. The correspondence is arranged chronologically with incoming and outgoing letters interfiled. Of note is some photocopied correspondence to Buckley from Hemingway regarding the possibility of his writing an introduction for Bullfight. A small amount of correspondence between Susan Buckley and Crisman Films regarding the use of Buckley’s photographs for a film on Hemingway is also included.
Additional Hemingway material, including some correspondence, is located in the "Spain 1956" scrapbook in Series II.
Subseries C. Holt Urban Social Studies Series, 1965-1968
This subseries consists of negatives, contact sheets, and a small number of color transparencies related to the four books in the Holt Urban Social Studies Series: William, Andy and Ramón (1966), Five Friends at School (1966), Living as Neighbors (1966), and Our Growing City (1968). As with the previous projects, the contact sheets are marked with printing and cropping instructions. Two copies of a pamphlet written by Buckley, "The Story Behind Holt’s Urban Social Studies Program," as well as negatives and contact sheets of Buckley photographed with the children from the series are also included.
Clippings, reviews, and correspondence regarding these books is located in the scrapbook dated 1965-1967 in Series II.
Subseries D. Subjects, 1950s-1988, undated
This subseries contains photographic material for unfinished projects and general subject matters. Material for an unpublished book on eagles comprises the bulk of the subseries and includes negatives, contact sheets, prints, and a detailed dummy with images, text, and notes on the layout of the book. For conservation purposes, the dummy was digitized in its original form and the original unstable plastic sleeves were discarded.
Negatives, contact sheets, and prints of the actress Anita Morris, originally intended for an unrealized book on human expressions based on Darwin’s theories, also form part of this subseries. Other subjects represented with negatives, contact sheets, and slides are the French actor and mime Étienne Decroux, an aspiring model/actress Nina Di Palma, the sculptor Chaim Gross and a nude model in his studio, Margaux Hemingway, other female models, a new housing development, scenes from nature, a sneaker factory, and various styles of dance and theater. There is also a small selection of unidentified subjects. A small group of “specially selected” negatives and contact prints are also included in this subseries.
Series II. Career-Related and Personal, 1945-2007, undated (1 box, 6 oversize boxes, 1 flat file drawer)
This series consists of materials related to Buckley’s career as well as personal items. Included are clippings, a plan for a photography exhibition, his contract with Simon and Schuster, Inc. for I Am from Puerto Rico, two sets of prints from portfolios, a detailed resume, photographs of Buckley, magazines, reviews, and several bullfight posters. Three gifts in this series are a photograph of Ernest Hemingway inscribed to Buckley, a matted photograph of the two of them with an inscription from Hemingway, and a print of a bullfight in Arles, France from artist Michael Crouser.
Of note in this series are Buckley’s scrapbooks. Two of the scrapbooks have been restricted due to their fragile condition. Digital copies of these scrapbooks are available in the Ransom Center for patron access. Five of the scrapbooks contain clippings, correspondence, prints, and ephemera primarily related to the books from the Around the World series and one for the Holt Urban Social Studies series. The correspondence includes letters from children featured in the books, as well as from fans of the books, many of them children. One scrapbook commemorates Buckley’s time in Spain and contains clippings, prints, and personal memorabilia from his experiences photographing bullfights. This scrapbook also contains items related to the publication of Bullfight, such as galley pages with handwritten corrections and reviews. Correspondence from Ernest and Mary Hemingway is also included in this scrapbook, including a Christmas card from 1957, and an announcement of the 1954 Nobel Prize ceremony with a note from Hemingway. A scrapbook from 1958, which included clippings and reviews for Bullfight, was disbound and the contents were removed for preservation purposes. Preservation photocopies of the original album pages are included with the original items.
All but one of the scrapbooks contained loose materials, which were housed in folders. The scrapbook from 1965 was disbound and had its pages sleeved, though the original covers were retained. The pages from the last two scrapbooks, 1958 and 1965 to 1967, were removed from their binders and re-sleeved and housed in folders.

Separated Material

The following items were transferred to the appropriate units within the Ransom Center:
Transferred to the Film Collection were two 16mm films, Ernest (silent print) and Ernest (negative print) and six VHS tapes: Under One Sun, Peter Buckley, Original Version, Spectrum Light Productions; Bullfighting, Spectrum Light Productions; “Monumentos;” “Novillado of Francisco Rivera Ordoñez August ’92;” “60 Minutes;” and ‘A-1 to 12 Two 1941-1950’ which contains footage from Buckley’s travels.
The following books were transferred to the Ransom Center’s Library:
  • Balish, Jacquelyn, ed. Leica World. New York: American Photographic Book Publishing Co., Inc., 1957.
  • Buckley, Peter. Bullfight. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1958. (2 copies)
  • ------. Cesare of Italy. New York: Franklin Watts, Inc., 1954.
  • ------. Dimitrios, Boy of Greece. London: Methuen & Co., 1962.
  • ------. Ernest. New York: The Dial Press, 1978.
  • ------. Greek Island Boy. New York: Viking Press, 1965.
  • ------. I Am from Puerto Rico. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1971.
  • ------. Jan of Holland. New York: Franklin Watts, Inc., 1956.
  • ------. Luis of Spain. New York: Franklin Watts, Inc., 1955.
  • ------. Luis of Spain. London: Chatto & Windus, 1957.
  • ------. Michel of Switzerland. New York: Franklin Watts, Inc., 1955.
  • ------. Michel of Switzerland. London: Chatto & Windus, 1960.
  • ------. Okolo of Nigeria. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1962.
  • ------. The Spanish Plateau: The Challenge of a Dry Land. New York: Coward-McCann, 1959.
  • Buckley, Peter, and Hortense Jones. Five Friends at School. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc., 1966.
  • ------. Living as Neighbors. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc., 1966.
  • ------. Our Growing City. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc., 1968.
  • ------. William, Andy and Ramón. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc., 1966.
  • Castillo-Puche, J. L. Hemingway, Entre la Vida y la Muerte. Barcelona: Ediciones Destino, 1968. (inscribed copy)
  • Castillo-Puche, José Luis. Hemingway in Spain: A Personal Reminiscence of Hemingway’s Years in Spain by His Friend. Translated from the Spanish by Helen R. Lane. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1974.
  • Conrad, Jack Randolph. The Horn and the Sword: The History of the Bull as Symbol of Power and Fertility. New York: EP Dutton and Company, 1957.
  • De Cossío, José María. Los Toros: Tratado Técnico e Histórico, Tomo I. Madrid: Espasa-Calpe, 1951.
  • ------. Los Toros: Tratado Técnico e Histórico, Tomo II. Madrid: Espasa-Calpe, 1953.
  • ------. Los Toros: Tratado Técnico e Histórico, Tomo III. Madrid: Espasa-Calpe, 1952.
  • ------. Los Toros: Tratado Técnico e Histórico, Tomo IV. Madrid: Espasa-Calpe, 1961.
  • Domecq y Díez, Álvaro. El Toro Bravo: Teoría y Práctica de la Bravura. Colección La Tauromaquia 2. Madrid: Espasa-Calpe, 1987.
  • Dubout, Albert. Corridas. [Paris]: Trinckvel, [1967].
  • Frances, Jacques "Santiaguito. "La Corrida du Cid a Paco Ojeda. Album Toros Numéro 7. Nîmes, France: Barnier[?], 1987.
  • Griffin, Peter. Along with Youth: Hemingway, the Early Years. New York: Oxford University Press, 1985.
  • Gyenes, Juan, and Enrique Llovet. Tauromachie: Biographie d’une Course. Paris: Art et Industrie, 1957.
  • Hemingway, Ernest. For Whom the Bell Tolls. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1940. (Buckley’s signature inside front cover.)
  • ------. The Garden of Eden. Korean translation. Korea: Trans-Lit Agency, 1986.
  • ------. Les Aventures de Nick Adams. Traduit de l’Anglais par Céline Zins pour les inédits et par Marcel Duhamel, Victor Llona, Henri Robillot et Ott de Weymer. French translation of The Nick Adams Stories. Paris: Gallimard, 1977.
  • ------. A Moveable Feast. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1964. (inscribed by Mary Hemingway)
  • ------. The Old Man and the Sea. Chinese translation. [China], 1957. (inscribed copy)
  • Hemingway, Mary Welsh. How It Was. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1976. (inscribed copy)
  • Hemingway, Valerie. Running with the Bulls: My Years with the Hemingways. New York: Ballantine Books, 2004. (inscribed to Susan Buckley)
  • Howell, John M. Hemingway’s African Stories: The Stories, Their Sources, Their Critics. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1969.
  • Iribarren, José María. Hemingway y Los Sanfermines. Pamplona, Spain: Editorial Gomez, 1970.
  • Ivancich, Gianfranco. Come Non Paura La Speranza. Venice: La Città di Aldus, 1975. (inscribed copy)
  • Lafront, Auguste. Toreros d’aujorudi’hui. Paris: Art Et Industrie, 1959.
  • LaGrone, Gregory G., Andrea Sendón McHenry and Patricia O’Connor. Español: Hablar y Leer. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1962.
  • Langellier, Alice, Sylvia Narins Levy and Patricia O’Connor. Le Français: Parler et Lire. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1963.
  • Luján, Néstor. Historia del Toreo. Barcelona: Ediciones Destino, S. L., 1954.
  • Macnab, Angus. The Bulls of Iberia: An Account of the Bullfight. London: Heinemann, 1957.
  • Oag, Shay. In the Presence of Death: Antonio Ordoñez. New York: Coward-McCann, Inc., 1969.
  • Phillips, Larry W., ed. Ernest Hemingway on Writing. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1984.
  • Popovitch, Serge. La Course Camarguaise. France: Editions Camariguo, 1986.
  • Reynolds, Michael. Hemingway: The Final Years. New York: W. W. Norton, 1999.
  • Ruiz, Ignacio. Mano a Mano: las figuras más polémicas del toreo actual. [Barcelona]: Interviú: Zeta, DL, 1996.
  • Szarkowski, John. The Photographer’s Eye. New York: Museum of Modern Art, 2007.
  • Tynan, Kenneth. Bull Fever. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1955. (inscribed copy)
  • Vavra, Robert. A Tent with a View: An Intimate African Experience. New York: William Morrow & Company Inc., 1991.
  • Unidentified (red book with ties, letter P on cover and spine). Contains text from works by Ernest Hemingway in English and Japanese.
The following film and sound recordings were transferred to the Ransom Center’s Library:
  • Buckley, Peter. The Hispanic World. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc., 1963.
  • ---. The Hispanic World. Volumes 1 and 2. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc., 1963.
  • ---. A Year in France. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc., 1964.
  • ---. A Year in France. Volumes 2 and 3. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc., 1965.

Index Terms


Children's books.
Hemingway, Ernest, 1899-1961.
Morris, Anita, 1943-1994.


Holland (Netherlands : Province).
Puerto Rico.

Document Types

Black-and-white negatives.
Color transparencies.
Contact sheets.
Gelatin silver prints.

Item List